5 Surprising Stocks That Have More Than Doubled in 2013

Yes, the market's been on fire this year, but some stocks have been doing way better than the rest of the market. Forget about the stocks that have beaten the market with healthy double-digit percentage gains through the first half of the year. There are hundreds of stocks out there that have rewarded investors by more than doubling.

Some of the names may be surprising, so let's take a closer look at five of this year's most surprising performers.

Company

July 18

YTD Gain

Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA  )

$119.03

251%

Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX  )

$266.41

188%

Best Buy (NYSE: BBY  )

$28.81

143%

Krispy Kreme (NYSE: KKD  )

$19.68

110%

iRobot (NASDAQ: IRBT  )

$38.05

103%

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Let's start with Tesla Motors. Elon Musk and his electric-car company are market darlings now, but things didn't seem that way last year. Large automakers were struggling to move their Volt and Leaf vehicles. Despite ridiculous lease deals and healthy tax rebates, drivers haven't raced to plug-in vehicles.

Tesla has been changing market perceptions. As the class act of electric cars, Tesla has initiated bold moves to get the public excited about its vehicles, including free charging stations and compelling trade-in assurances. It's paying off. Tesla surprised the market with a quarterly profit in its last report.

Wall Street seemed to have left Netflix for dead two years ago after some well-publicized blunders. However, Netflix is getting the last laugh now, with more than 36 million streaming subscribers worldwide.

No one is even close to Netflix, and that's giving it surprising leverage in securing licensing rights to expand its digital catalog. Netflix raced to fresh highs earlier this week, after securing a dozen Emmy nominations for House of Cards and Arrested Development.

Best Buy is probably one of the biggest surprises of 2013, and I can't be the only one eating crow here. When Best Buy's board made it difficult for its founder to attempt to take the company private in the mid-$20s, it seemed as if karma would get the best of the struggling consumer-electronics retailer.

Things still aren't perfect at Best Buy. Sales continue to slump, with shoppers either going online to make cheaper purchases or migrating to digital media delivery that leaves Best Buy out of the mix. However, a new CEO has injected new initiatives that for now are being well received on Wall Street.

Krispy Kreme has doubled this year? Yes. Even when it seems as if we're more health-conscious in our eating habits, the maker of decadent treats is rolling. The company stunned investors in its latest quarter by posting an 11.4% surge in same-store sales, and it wasn't a one-time thing. The doughnut maker has served up positive comps for 18 consecutive quarters.

In other words, this isn't just about the economic recovery. Folks have been turning to Krispy Kreme's fried treats as comfort food throughout the economic cycle.

Finally, we have iRobot checking in. This may be the biggest surprise of them all. iRobot's Roomba has always been a cool home appliance, but there doesn't seem to be a surge in excitement for the vacuum-cleaning orbs. Things would seem to be even more challenging for iRobot's even cooler PackBot and military robotics. Sure, they're cool, but isn't the government scaling back on defense spending?

Well, back in April, iRobot dramatically juiced up its guidance. Double-digit growth in its home robotics, new military contracts, and a push into new categories have all resulted in robust prospects for the company. It also only helps that iRobot has a habit of making analysts appear conservative, beating Wall Street's profit targets by 40% or better in each of its past four quarters.

Keep the winners coming
If you owned some of these winners, how about trying to keep your good fortune going by unearthing more potential market beaters?

The best investing approach is to choose great companies and stick with them for the long term. The Motley Fool's free report "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich" names stocks that could help you build long-term wealth and retire well, along with some winning wealth-building strategies that every investor should be aware of. Click here now to keep reading.


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Related Tickers

10/24/2014 4:00 PM
BBY $33.11 Down -0.01 -0.03%
Best Buy CAPS Rating: *
IRBT $34.39 Down -1.51 -4.21%
iRobot CAPS Rating: ****
KKD $17.30 Down -0.06 -0.35%
Krispy Kreme Dough… CAPS Rating: **
NFLX $385.02 Up +1.98 +0.52%
Netflix CAPS Rating: **
TSLA $235.24 Down -0.05 -0.02%
Tesla Motors CAPS Rating: **

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